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Japan fighter jet dispatch highest since Cold War

Japan dispatched fighter jets more often over the past 12 months than at any time since the Cold War ended, according to government figures, with the sorties mostly aimed at chasing away Chinese and Russian aircraft. Tokyo scrambled fighter jets 810 times in the fiscal year to March, with more than half aimed at Chinese planes, as the Asian powers remain locked in a tense standoff over competing territorial claims, the defence ministry data published Wednesday showed. Planes were sent up nine times to ward off North Korean jets, it added.

Philippines signs deals to buy 12 fighter jets, 4 combat helicopters to boost air force

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines on Friday signed contracts worth $527 million to buy 12 fighter jets from South Korea and four combat utility helicopters from Canada to boost the capability of its air force, one of the weakest in Southeast Asia. Armed forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista signed a contract with Korean Aerospace Industries for 12 FA-50 fighters worth 18.9 billion pesos ($420.4 million) and another with Canadian Commercial Corp. for four Bell 412 combat utility helicopters worth 4.8 billion pesos ($106.8 million). Deliveries will start next year.

Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking as outside office hours

No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled Monday when an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva, because it happened outside business hours, the Swiss airforce said. When the co-pilot on flight ET-702 from Addis Ababa to Rome locked himself in the cockpit while the pilot went to the bathroom and announced a hijacking, Italian and French fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane through their respective airspaces.

Bodies, black box found after Swiss fighter jet crash

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of the two people onboard a Swiss army fighter jet that crashed into a mountainside, as well as the aircraft's black box, the defence ministry said Thursday. "Both people onboard the F/A-18 fighter jet that crashed yesterday have been found dead," the ministry said in a statement. The F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet was one of two that took off in the canton of Bern on Wednesday for a training mission, but it crashed shortly after into a cliff overlooking a branch of Lake Lucerne.

S. Korea kicks off bidding for US$7.3 bln fighter jet deal

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea started the bidding process Tuesday to pick a contractor to provide 60 advanced fighter jets for 8.3 trillion won (US$7.3 billion), the Defense Acquisition Program and Administration (DAPA) said. Seoul faces a tough decision in selecting either the Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II stealth jet, Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle or the European Aerospace Defense and Space Company (EADS)'s Eurofighter Tranche 3 Typhoon, to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets.

Italy's 5-Star is growing threat to F-35 purchase

By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Italy's 5-Star Movement, led by comic Beppe Grillo, wants to scrap the country's planned purchase of 90 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and use the savings to help boost the struggling economy, a lawmaker told Reuters on Tuesday. Italy has been unable to seat a government since the February national election that left no single force with a working majority in parliament, but 5-Star wants to form parliamentary committees so laws can be made without one.

UPDATE 1-Russia denies fighter jets breached Japan's air space

* Japan says two Russian fighters entered its air space * Russian Defence Ministry denies any intrusion (Adds quote, details) MOSCOW, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Russia denied its fighter jets had entered Japanese air space on Thursday after Tokyo scrambled combat fighters and lodged a protest over what it said was an intrusion near the northern island of Hokkaido. Russia has been holding military manoeuvres around the disputed Kurile islands this week.

Russia denies its fighter jets breached Japanese air space

MOSCOW, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Russia denied its fighter jets had entered Japanese air space on Thursday after Japan said it had scrambled combat fighters and lodged a protest over what it said was an intrusion near the northern island of Hokkaido. (Reporting By Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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Body of missing US fighter jet pilot found in Italy: report dt/lc
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